Here’s How Your Dog Really Feels About You, According To Science

Image: Yaisin Bulut via Getty Images

Let’s talk about puppy love. Not youthful romance, but the love between a person and his or her pooch. As every dog lover knows, canine companions make for some of the best friends we could wish for. They play with us, cuddle with us, listen to us and make us feel like the most special people on the planet the moment we walk through the front door. We love them, and they love us — or so we assume. Since our furry, floppy-eared friends aren’t able to tell us how they really feel, we’re stuck staring into their puppy-dog eyes, wondering what kinds of thoughts are flying around behind them.

The more we know as owners, the better we can promote our pets’ emotional wellness. To learn more about the doggy mind and how to nourish it, we partnered with Purina and the Purina Better With Pets Summit in search of answers to dog owners’ most pressing questions about canine psychology. And, thanks to science, we now know a lot more about what Fido and Fifi are really thinking and feeling.

“Does my dog feel guilty after he does something bad?”

We all know what it looks like: the head hanging low, ears drooping and gaze averted. It’s the look our dogs get after they’ve pooped on the living room carpet or swiped half of our breakfast while our backs were turned. But even though man’s best friend is showing all the same signs of guilt that we see in humans, that doesn’t mean he’s actually sorry. Sandra Lyn, Ph.D., a behaviorist at Nestlé Purina, says we assume that dogs feel guilty about misbehaving because we tend to anthropomorphize them, meaning we think about them as if they were human. We —> Read More